OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) – A former doctor with Nebraska Medicine is being sued for allegedly touching a patient inappropriately while she was under anesthesia.
The lawsuit claims Dr. Mark Dietrich, an orthopedic surgeon, touched the woman’s genitals with his ungloved hand during an operation two years ago at Nebraska Medical Center.
The suit says the patient was under anesthesia and didn’t know what had happened until almost a year later when she received a call from representatives of the hospital. A witness in the operating room saw the alleged inappropriate touching, according to the lawsuit.
At the time, the witness didn’t intervene or make a note in the patient’s medical chart.
Before she was notified, the patient had two follow-up visits with Dietrich unaware of what allegedly happened.
“Nebraskans and people who come to Nebraska for medical care need to be able to trust that hospitals are informing them about concerns with the physicians that will be operating on them,” said the patient’s attorney, Maren Lynn Chaloupka.
The patient is only identified as A.W. in the lawsuit and lives in Florida.
Dietrich is no longer associated with the hospital, but the lawsuit claims he stayed for months after warning signs appeared.
A records search under Dietrich’s name found a lawsuit filed six months before the patient’s surgery that accuses him of fondling a different female patient under anesthesia.
That should have been a red flag, Chaloupka said.
“Because of pending litigation, we cannot talk further about the circumstances,” Nebraska Medical Center said in a statement. “Nebraska Medicine holds physicians and staff to the highest professional standards and the safety of our patients is our top priority.”